Corporate Communications recently sat down for a chat with NetApp CFO Ron Pasek, who joined the company in April 2016. Ron gives insight to his background, why he joined NetApp, and his observations on his first two months at the company.
Q: Welcome to NetApp! Please share with our readers a little bit about yourself and your new role.
A: Thank you, it’s an honor and pleasure to be in the CFO role at NetApp. I have more than 30 years of financial and operational management experience to contribute here in the years ahead. After earning my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Finance from San Jose State University and an MBA from Santa Clara University, I joined Rolm Corporation, where I worked in accounting and financial planning. In the early 1990s, I began a nearly 20-year career with Sun Microsystems, serving in roles including vice president of Finance, Global Sales, and Service, as well as in the positions of vice president and treasurer. Most recently, I was CFO of Altera Corporation before the company was acquired by Intel.
Here at NetApp, in addition to overseeing our financial organization, I will also lead IT. I have led both the Finance and the IT organizations at companies in the past. That’s why I have a strong perspective on how to make IT a business partner to drive competitive advantage across the enterprise. I believe these two teams are critical, strategic, and similar in the ways that they support and enable a company’s success. Having a clear-cut IT strategy is key to helping NetApp create a competitive advantage.
Q: Why did you decide to join NetApp?
A: There is a passionate, motivated, and talented team that exists behind the company name of NetApp. I was lucky to first experience this passion as a customer, where I not only benefited from the innovative products but also worked with the talented individuals behind those products. This company has a unique spirit and dedication to its products, its customers, its partners, and to each other—a spirit and dedication that I have not often seen in my career. This is just one of the reasons I believe NetApp has a great opportunity for success in the years to come.
Q: You’ve been with NetApp for more than two months. What are your initial observations?
A: In addition to the employee passion and product innovation that I see here, I can also share some observations about the leadership team. In my many years as CFO of a publicly traded company, I have worked with several CEOs and executive teams of companies much larger and smaller than NetApp. In comparison, what I immediately found both unique and extremely impressive about NetApp is the senior leadership team. They are completely committed to helping this great company resume its course of success. I am honored to be part of NetApp and I look forward to helping guide NetApp’s success in the years ahead.
Q: You joined NetApp during a time of transformation. As our new CFO, can you share some of your priorities and your view on NetApp’s future?
A: FY17 is a year of transition. Aligning our cost structure with the opportunity ahead of us is a top priority, given that it is completely within our control. We’re driving additional changes that include implementing tighter cost controls over indirect spending, improving supply chain efficiency, portfolio streamlining, operational process redesign, and organizational restructuring and realignment. Because of this and other factors, I believe that NetApp is undervalued and I know that recent negative assumptions about NetApp can return to positive views in time.
I have confidence that the unique spirit and strength of Team NetApp, combined with our incredible innovation, our data fabric strategy, and our global scale, create a strong foundation upon which to build and transform. Our strong foundation and clear plan for transformation together give me great confidence in NetApp’s ability to lead in the next era of IT.